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I would like to ask a question about the adjective „olden“ (of, relating to, or belonging to time long past; old or ancient). In the dictionary entry in The American Heritage Dictionary (2000) and The Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary (2010) – as in my former post, I´m referring via The Free Dictionary – there´s no stylistically „prescriptive“ classification of the word. The Collins English Dictionary (2003) sees this as „an archaic or poetic word for old (often in phrases such as in olden days and in olden times)“.
„Olden days“ and „olden times“ are, by and large, indeed the only collocations I found on the first few Google search engine results pages. I also came across the word pair „olden glory“ – in the lyrics of Runrig, the Scottish Celtic rock group formed in 1973 („There must be a place / Under the sun / Where hearts of olden glory / Grow young“).
Is this adjective - in the collocations I mentioned above - convenient also in spoken English and are there other collocations or word pairs using „olden“ you have ever heard of?
Last edited by MikeNewYork; 07-Jul-2013 at 03:19. Reason: typo
Pope of the Dictionary.com Forum
not a teacher
As your Google search and Mike's post suggest, "olden days" and "olden times" are the only two forms in general use, with "olden days" being the more common. In a quick look through over 250 examples of "olden" usage I noted only two exceptions ("olden Englishmen", "olden elements"), both in a fantasy/science fiction context. I think it's fair to say that outside of the two common phrases, the use of "olden" is largely literary.